Travel

I Left My Heart in a Historical City

Unlike my sister, I have not been bitten by the travel bug. I’m the type of person who prefers to stay indoors with my computer, art materials, and sometimes (sadly), books. However, I decided to follow my heart to the Malaysian historic state – Malacca. Learning that the state has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2008, I became more eager to plan my journey. I needed the added inspiration for me to create more art~

The trip to Malacca is the first time for me to travel to another country and I did it alone. Weeks, no, months before the flight to Kuala Lumpur,  I researched on the places to visit, food to try and sights to see. From TripAdvisor to blogs, I tried to get as much information as I need for the trip. I binge-watched travel hack and traveler do’s and don’ts.

I booked my March flight on January during a seat sale (YES!). And a more than a month before, had my bus tickets from Kuala Lumpur to Malacca and a reservation to a guesthouse.

Despite my colds and cough (and my family’s concern of being quarantined), I entered Kuala Lumpur safely and no set backs. However, though I initially wanted to find a place to for a quick shut eye before my 7AM bus schedule to the historical city, I ended staying up in a food court after the plane landed at 2AM. Good thing, there is a lounge which offers shower services so I can freshen up before the bus ride.

From the bus terminal, I took a cab to the Wayfarer Guest House where I booked a room facing the river. I arrived too early for the 2pm check-in. Luckily, the room isn’t occupied and the housekeeper gave me the keys and allowed me to check in before noon. The room was spacious and offers a spectacular view of the Church of Saint Francis Xavier and the Melaka River. And the whole guesthouse is really charming with all the old furnishing. It’s a perfect place to stay during when you want to visit.

I met the owner after who was very kind and gracious to give me a map of the places to visit.

Malacca, or Melaka, as it is known locally, bears a rich history from establishment of a port to the colonization of the Portuguese, Dutch and the British. Among  the vast list of tourist attractions include the Melaka River Cruise, the Dutch Square, A Famosa Fortress, the St. Paul Church, and Jonker Street.

Weather is definitely warmer but that did not stop me from checking out the sights. After all, I didn’t go all the way there just to stay in the guesthouse. Ruins and churches are not new to me since I am from a country which also has a rich colonial history. However, Malacca seemed to have retained the charm and the beauty of what it has been for years.

Malacca at night is such a beauty. Lights added a different vibe from how the places look during the day. The river cruise is a perfect way to chill and witness the beauty of the Malaccan evening.

I went there on a weekday, so sadly I haven’t been to the Jonker Walk Night Market. Maybe it’s just me, but I love the feeling of  walking around an old town during night – when everything is quiet. So, missing out the night market isn’t really a big deal.

Even though I thought I knew where to go after all the articles that I have read, I still felt a bit lost. There are lists of go to places and recommended restaurants, but I didn’t end up going for those. I met up with Daniel, as well as his siblings, who took me to  family owned food shops to taste local fares like otak-otak and wanton mee. I felt like I experienced the city in a not so tourist-y way and I am glad for that. Thank you, guys!

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Daniel told me that it takes a week or more to fully explore the city. With me being sick then, I think I haven’t really maximized my time. There are still lots that I want to see and taste. Come to think of it, I can always go back.

And yes, I will go back.

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